Four Chinese nationals charged with instigating bus strike released on bail

The four SMRT drivers from China charged with instigating last week's strike, were on Thursday released on bail pending a further court mention on Dec 12.

Gao Yue Qiang, 32, Liu Xiangying, 33, and Wang Xianjie, 39, were out on bail of $10,000, while He Jun Ling, 32, who faces a second charge of inciting the strike was released on $20,000 bail.

The four accused persons left the Subordinate Courts in taxi, accompanied by a small group of unidentified persons.

It is also not known who posted their bail, although lawyer M.Ravi and representatives from migrant worker groups were present to help in the process.

All four men have indicated in court earlier that they wish to engage lawyers to represent them, although The Straits Times understands that legal representation for the men had already been arranged late Wednesday night.

The four men were among a group of 171 drivers who refused to report for work on Nov 26, and also part of the 88 who stayed away the following day.

They were unhappy about the difference between their wages and those of their Malaysian counterparts.

A fifth former SMRT bus driver, Bao Feng Shan, 38, was on Monday sentenced to six weeks' jail for his role in the strike, while 29 others were sent back to China earlier this week.